McDonald’s invests in mobile software company Plexure

The burger giant is making a $3.7 million minority investment in the New Zealand-based company.
Photograph courtesy of McDonald's

McDonald’s Corp. on Monday said it has made an investment in the New Zealand-based mobile engagement company Plexure as the company continues to be more aggressive in using unique technologies inside of its restaurants.

It’s McDonald’s first investment in a mobile app vendor. But it’s the company’s second major investment in a technology company.

The Chicago-based burger giant already uses Plexure’s technology in its mobile apps in 48 countries outside the U.S. As part of the deal, McDonald’s has agreed to expand its use of Plexure’s mobile engagement software, and in exchange the technology company has agreed not to work with a specific list of McDonald’s quick-service restaurant rivals.

McDonald’s has agreed to acquire 9.9% of Plexure’s stock, or 13.8 million shares, at a value of $3.7 million U.S. Just last week, the fast-food giant acquired Israeli company Dynamic Yield in a $300 million deal that will give McDonald’s the ability to make its drive-thru screens customize menu selections based on weather, time of day and how busy it is.

Plexure’s technology helps companies engage with consumers on their mobile devices, using offers, loyalty programs and mobile ordering to encourage them to order more often.

“Across all of our markets, we’re using technology to elevate and transform the McDonald’s customer experience,” CEO Steve Easterbrook said in a statement. “Our mobile apps play a key role in our digital acceleration, allowing customers to interact with us in a personal, customized way. This investment is a testament to our belief in Plexure’s ability to deliver strong results for our business as well as the talent and technology they’ve cultivated.”

Plexure will use McDonald’s investment to further its growth plans and give the burger chain increased access to its technology. That includes increased access to both back-end and front-end features, customer functionality and customer targeting.

Craig Herbison, CEO of Plexure, called the investment “a tremendous vote of confidence from our largest customer.” He said the funds will “further our efforts to reach more people with our technology.”

McDonald’s operates nearly 38,000 locations worldwide, with 14,000 of them in the U.S. Franchisees operate more than 92% of those locations.

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